My love affair with New York goes way back.
I first fell in love with New York through the big and small screen. As a child of the ’80s, New York is where everything seemed to be happening. Everything exciting and glitzy and ritzy. Everything much more dazzling than in my sheltered world growing up on an Air Force base in rural South Jersey, and Texas, and the sticks of South Carolina.
Fame. Big. Three Men and a Baby. Desperately Seeking Susan. Ghostbusters. Wall Street. Crocodile Dundee. Working Girl. When Harry Met Sally. The Muppets Take Manhattan. Bosom Buddies. The Cosby Show. Kate and Allie. Who’s the Boss (I wanted to be Angela Bower with a fancy job in the city and a white picket fence home in Connecticut).
It’s funny how dreams form. I often think of what influences are happening in my sweet lil Kaylee Golightly’s world and how that will shape her dreams for the future. Of course, my sister grew up in the same house as I did and never dreamed of the Big Apple so maybe it’s something else, something more innate? I don’t know… but the seed had been planted.
Later, Mad About You, Felicity, Will & Grace, Friends, and Sex and the City sealed the deal. And, of course, my discovery of a little movie called Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
After college in Austin, I landed a job as an editor at AOL in LA, which was very exciting. And while it was a great opportunity, I still had a yearning to experience life in the Big Apple. So much so that a literal Big Apple lived as an early vision board on my wall.
Finally, after a detour through Austin and Detroit, I arrived. First in Hoboken with a breathtaking view of the city skyline. Then in Connecticut to try out my Who’s the Boss fantasy. And finally, finally in Manhattan.
It was love at first loft. I literally roller-skated around our NoHo apartment with joy on day one of moving in (that’s what hardwood floors are made for, right?).
More happened in five minutes than in a week anywhere else. It was loud and dizzying and never, ever boring. We lived above a theater, the 6 train and a pay phone on Bleeker Street right where Mulberry Street begins.
It was everything. It’s where I really began to blog for a living, tried my hand at designing, went to my first Fashion Week, hosted blogger/designer meetups, hosted my first in-store event, made lifelong friends, and best of all, married the love of my life while standing on a block of ice as the sun dipped below the twinkling skyline in Central Park.
It’s a city I’ll always hold near and dear to my heart, both for giving me the dream to begin with and delivering the reality in full unadulterated glory.
I feel incredibly lucky to just have spent the past week there, literally living out another dream as I bounced around from fanciful fashion shows to brunches at storied New York hotels and parties filled with the glitterati.
One party in particular, held on the rooftop on Top of the Standard by BCBG, always transports me. With wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows, it is so reminiscent of Windows on the World, where I once spent a dazzling, forever memorable night dancing the night away and where I felt like I was living in my own New York movie. A place where I felt young, wild, free and hopeful. I couldn’t wait to move to the City some day. It was, in a word, magic.
Thank you for the magic, New York, then, now and always.
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Photos: Fred Baby
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